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Kontakt Collection presents its Video Portraits

June 9, 2022, 5pm

Since the late 1950s, the Kontakt Collection and its research-based activities have been focusing on Central, Eastern, and Southeastern European artistic activity that has accompanied social and political transformations in the region and has contributed significant neo-avant-garde works to art history. During the pivotal years of 1968 and 1989, a large number of artists and intellectuals bore witness to these countries’ diverse transformative processes, which were communicated through art. Their testimonials examine the influence of these processes and their consequences for the standing of contemporary art.

The Kontakt Video Portraits are the latest in a long line of art-historically significant Austrian initiatives. The “portraits of artists” curated by Peter Kogler for the “museum in progress,” which offered an impressive panorama of international artistic perspectives from the 1990s, as well as Wilhelm Gaube’s oeuvre of around 250 artist portraits from the 1960s and 1970s, provided the starting point for this endeavor.

Claus Philipp, a publicist and dramaturge, and artist Manuel Gorkiewicz were tasked with conducting and recording interviews with Central and Eastern European artists and intellectuals who have contributed to a better understanding of the artistic and social milieus, realities, and developments in this geographical cultural sphere for the Kontakt Video Portraits.

Since then, 15 video portraits have been finished and will be shown to the public today at Vienna’s Admiral Kino. Starting this summer, ten of these will be featured on the Kontakt website. New contributions will be added to the series on a regular basis.

So far, interviews with the following figures have been completed: Edek Bartz, Josef Dabernig, Katrina Daschner, Silvia Eiblmayr, Sanja Iveković, Anna Jermolaewa, Peter Kubelka, Goran Sergej Pristaš, Ashley Hans Scheirl, Franz Schuh, Clemens Setz, Goran Trbuljak, What, How & for Whom / WHW, Werner Würtinger, and Želimir Žilnik.